Damian Mehers' Blog Xamarin from Geneva, Switzerland.


BeebMC – BBC Radio addin for Windows Media Center

I've developed a small  BBC Radio Media Center addin mainly for my own use, which I'm making available here for free for anyone else that wants it.

[I've since posted a new version of BeebMC here . It supports "Listen Again".   I recommend going to this posting to read about it and download it.]

There are a couple of restrictions:

  • Your need Real Player installed
  • You need version 3.5 of the .NET framework installed.  It is available here if you don't have it (or if you are not sure).
  • It will not work with Extenders, since the BBC streams using Real Audio.

I can't promise a lot of support, but reply here if you have problems using it and I'll help if I can.

Once installed you'll find it under the Music menu:


Click on a channel to play that channel:


You can customize it by editing the Channels.xml file you will find under C:\ProgramData\Atadore\BeebMC. Add channels by adding a Channel element with the appropriate description, picture and URL for playing the channel.


[I've since posted a new version of BeebMC here . It supports "Listen Again".   I recommend going to this posting to read about it and download it.]

Comments (21) Trackbacks (3)
  1. nice work! thanks for sharing that

  2. I’ve created a screencast showing how I created this application from scratch: http://damianblog.com/2008/07/12/screencast-creating-a-simple-media-center-application/

  3. FYI I’m working on an update that will do Listen Again. I’ll post a message to my blog when it is ready.


  4. Hi Damian.

    I can stream BBC Radio stations to my extenders and I don’t need Real Player installed on the PC either, which is a good thing in my book.

    I’m just using the Web Media plug-in for Media Center and the actual URL media streams of the radio stations i.e. BBC Radio 1 = http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/realmedia/1xtra.asx

    I used URL Snooper 2, program to sniff the network and pick out the URL media streams.

    Maybe you could look in to this for your application?

    Web Media plugin:


  5. Thanks Damian,
    Should I be able to pause/stop the player using the remote control? The only way I seem to be able to stop the BBC stream, is by closing Media Centre. Even if I play music, or TV the stream continues to play.

  6. If you press “Back” to back out of the application it should stop — does it stop if you do that?


  7. Sorry – yes, ‘back’ works fine. I think I tried every button except that one. I have just installed version 2.0 – thank you!

  8. Hi Damian great work…while your looking after the two kids…

    is it possible to add the scroll arrows i am using wmc with a touch screen whole house audio system… I am finding it difficult to scroll through the listen again



  9. Dear Damian,

    I downloaded the BBC Radio MCBEEB Application Zip Folder, and deployed the same to the WMC. Addin is deployed, but not to the Music Menu, to the Online Media Menu. I am Unable to select between two radio channel using the Xbox Remote Control. Can you please guide me how to make the remote control work, and how to deploy this addin under music menu.


  10. Hi Syed,

    You’ll find the BeebMC application under:

    Could you uninstall the MCBeeb app (which is the demo app I put together showing how I created MCBeeb), and the install BeebMC 2.0 and let me know how it goes?


  11. Hi Damian,

    Thanks a lot for your very quick help. This is working fine, i am able to navigate with xbox remote control and the addin is deployed under music menu. I am the beginner on this technology, Can you please guide me, how to start with development on this platform. Can you please reference me books or any videos by which i can start development on self. Will be thankful to you for this kind favor.

    Thanks again

  12. Hi Syed,

    I’d recommend the SDK documentation, the Media Center Sandbox: http://blog.mediacentersandbox.com/ and also perhaps take a look at the introductory videos I created showing how I created the BeebMC application: http://damianblog.com/2008/07/12/screencast-creating-a-simple-media-center-application/


  13. hi Damian,
    did you see my post above…any comments cheers

  14. Hi Mark,

    I did see it — still working on 64 bit support (didn’t work as easily as I’d hoped) — then I’ll get on to looking at it.


  15. hi damian
    how do you edit the file



  16. Hi Damian.
    Just watched your 2 webcasts on Media Center development and its the first place that I’ve seen any decent explanations of whats happening.
    Where did you learn about MCE development? Any good books you could recommend.
    Also, do you know if it is possible to open an external application from within VMC (like a shell command)? I’d like to be able to open an external media player within Media Center. I’d preferably like to host the application within VMC itself but if not just being able to invoke the application to open externally would be better than nothing. Any idea how to do that?

  17. Hi Mark,

    Do you mean the Channels.xml file? You’ll need to change its properties to make it writable, and then you can edit it with Notepad.


  18. Hi Ben,

    There are no MCML books that I know of — there is this one online: http://push-a-button.com/products/books/index.php

    The Media Center Sandbox website and forums are also good: http://blog.mediacentersandbox.com/

    It isn’t possible to display external programs within Media Center — just the Media Center display, and MCML / hosted HTML apps that you develop.


  19. what program do you use to edit the xml file… i tried notepad and it doesn’t let me save as xml extension

  20. Hi Mark,

    In notepad when you are in the Save dialog, if you change the extension that is shown to be “*.*” instead of “*.txt” then you should see all the files and can then select the xml file to overwrite it.


  21. Hello
    I have tried BeebMC, but I only get an ‘Illegal program’ message when trying to start it. I have the latest Real player and .Net version.
    I have been unable to find any references to what is actually the reason for an’Illegal program message’.

    Do you have any idea.


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